The Return is the Movement of Tao : Zhu Xiao-Mei and the Goldberg Variations

A documentary by Michel Mollard

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Zhu Xiao-Mei — Pianist

Program notes

"The Return is the Movement of Tao" pays tribute to one of the most renowned interpreters of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music, the celebrated Chinese pianist Zhu Xiao-Mei. Shot in the musician’s favorite haunts—Paris, Buenos Aires and the wintery Alps—Michel Mollard’s documentary offers profound insight into the mind of a fascinating artist, her vision of the Goldberg Variations and into what makes this great masterpiece so powerful.

Zhu Xiao-Mei’s performances of The Goldberg Variations stood at the beginning of her international career and represent the "greatest musical encounter" of her life. Her belief in the Variations as "a universal piece of music that knows no frontiers", has been proven time and again through acclaimed performances in concert halls around the world. Exploring both the music and the mysteries behind it, and focusing particularly on ties between Bach and Lao-Tze, and on the cultural dialogue between the West and China, Michel Mollard’s work captures the pianist’s unique interpretation for the first time. The live recording was produced at Zhu Xiao-Mei’s critically-acclaimed concert at the Leipzig Bach Festival at J. S. Bach’s final resting place in St. Thomas Church in 2014.

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